H7N9 bird flu in China – 104 cases

Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus in China – update – Chinese National Health and Family Planning Commission notified WHO of an additional two laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus. Both the patients are reported from Zhejiang province.

Surgical mask on flu patients can reduce spread of infectious virus

UMD study provides new clues to how flu virus spreads — Shows that using a surgical mask on flu patients can reduce the release of even the smallest droplets containing infectious virus – People may more likely be exposed to the flu through airborne virus than previously thought, according to new research from the University of Maryland School of Public Health. The study also found that when flu patients wear a surgical mask, the release of virus in even the smallest airborne droplets can be significantly reduced.

Flu season tough for older people this year in US

Flu Season ‘Bad One for the Elderly,’ CDC Says — US flu epidemic – 29 children dead – An unusually severe flu season is exacting a heavy toll on older people in New York and across USA. This year’s edition of influenza is hitting the elderly hard, putting many in hospitals, even as overall flu activity is showing signs of slowing down.

Flublok seasonal influenza vaccine approved in US

US FDA approves new seasonal influenza vaccine made using novel technology – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it has approved Flublok, the first trivalent influenza vaccine made using an insect virus (baculovirus) expression system and recombinant DNA technology. Flublok is approved for the prevention of seasonal influenza in people 18 through 49 years of age.

Flu season started in US in 2012

U.S. Flu Season Off To Early Start, CDC Urges Vaccination — Early Vaccine Coverage Data Shows Millions Unprotected Still – Significant increases in flu activity in the United States have occurred in the last two weeks, indicating that an early flu season is upon us. These increases in activity overlap with National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) being observed December 2-8, 2012.

Cholesterol lowering drugs statins may help hospitalized influenza patients

Statins may reduce mortality in patients hospitalized with influenza – Taking Statins May Help Flu patients – The two main ways to prevent and control influenza today are annual immunization and antiviral drugs. A team of investigators has found that statins, cholesterol-lowering drugs, may offer an additional treatment to complement these approaches and reduce mortality among patients hospitalized with influenza.

New GM-SCF therapy to defeating flu shows promise

New approach to defeating flu shows promise – New research on mice has shown that pulmonary administration of granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) significantly reduces flu symptoms and prevents death after a lethal dose influenza virus.

Universal influenza vaccine possible in future

Mount Sinai researchers move closer to a universal influenza vaccine – Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have developed a new influenza vaccine that brings science one step closer to a universal influenza vaccine that would eliminate the need for seasonal flu shots.

Novartis’ Agriflu seasonal influenza vaccine approved in US

FDA Approves Agriflu Seasonal Influenza Vaccine — Another option to prevent illnesses caused by subtypes A and B influenza virus – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Agriflu for people ages 18 years and older to prevent disease caused by influenza virus subtypes A and B.

Avian influenza increases Parkinson’s disease risk

St. Jude scientists report flu infection leaves brain more vulnerable later in life — Avian influenza strain primes brain for Parkinson’s disease. – At least one strain of the H5N1 avian influenza virus leaves survivors at significantly increased risk for Parkinson’s disease and possibly other neurological problems later in life, according to new research from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

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